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South Carlsbad State Beach is a 3.9 mile out and back trail located near Carlsbad, California and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 3.9 miles Elevation Gain: 95 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

beach

no dogs

This San Diego beach is popular for surfing, fishing, skin diving and camping. This guide takes you from end to end. South Carlsbad State Beach is a great stretch of bluff-lined beach that makes a beautiful place to amble about, exploring the beach, enjoying the sunshine and the ocean breezes. At low tide, the beach becomes a broad, almost level expanse of sand strewn with seaweed, sea shells, well worn beach stones and other treasures. This walk will take you from North Ponto (the north end of the park), down the beach to South Ponto, then back along the top of the coastal bluff. At low tide, the beach is broad and flat, but at high tide, the surf can extend to the foot of the bluffs, making the beach impassable. With this route, you can modify it to suit your interest and the tides, choosing to do the entire walk on the beach or along the bluff. You can also start from South Ponto at the southern end of the park and do this beach walk in reverse.

Every hike by the beach gets five stars from me. That being said, you can make it as difficult or as easy as you want going up and down the steps and running on the rocks... or just staying on the campground road. Just like most things, it's all what you make of it.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

hiking
washed out
8 months ago

Some sections of the trail on the bluff to the north are washed out and you have to run on the road, but it was incentive to run on in the beach instead. Beautiful scenery and not crowded.

running
Mon Nov 05 2018

I was able to enjoy a 5 mile run here. I wish the trail extended the entire way instead of having to run in the bike lane on the 101. Gorgeous view otherwise.

Sun Mar 25 2018

Rocky walk on the beach. Tide must be out or you have to walk on the bluff which runs along side the road at some parts.

Sat Mar 24 2018

Beautiful scenery! And all those rocks!

scenic driving
Mon Mar 12 2018

Nice sunsets

hiking
Wed Sep 27 2017

The parking was surprisingly easy, but the path to the wooden stairs to descend onto the rocky beach was slightly difficult to locate. I would suggest checking the tide schedule, as high tide decreases the amount of beach to hike/ walk upon, if you are squirmish about wet socks and shoes. Clean beach with beautiful vistas! Very easy hike; great scenery with lots of surfers in the waters! Maybe my starting point was off, but from the parking lot and heading as far left, once on the beach was less than 1ml.

hiking
Sun Jan 03 2016

Beautiful beach to walk on, plenty of places to visit (for dinner) on the way back via the street. Pay attention to the tides before you go.

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22 days ago

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11 months ago

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11 months ago

hiking
Fri Mar 01 2019

walking
Thu Feb 07 2019

walking
Wed Oct 17 2018

hiking
Sat Sep 29 2018

hiking
Sat May 19 2018

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Fri Feb 16 2018

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Fri Jan 19 2018

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Fri Dec 29 2017

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